British Columbia

B.C. plane crash victims identified

Transportation Safety Board investigators were in Mission, B.C. Thursday where two Cessna planes touched in mid-air killing a pilot and his passenger, who have now been identified.
Transportation Safety Board investigators were in Mission, B.C., Thursday where two Cessna planes touched wings mid-air Wednesday afternoon killing a pilot and his passenger, who have now been identified.

Police said the dead pilot was Donn Hubble, 60, of Langley, B.C. The passenger was Patrick Lobsinger, 70.

They died when the plane they were in crashed into the Nicomen Slough in Mission, 57 kilometres east of Vancouver.

Two planes were flying in a diamond formation with two other planes when something went wrong.  Witnesses said the plane at the back of the diamond rear-ended the plane in the front.

The two locked together and started spinning to the ground from a height of less than 1,000 metres. The plane that had been in the rear snapped free and pilot Paul Knapp was able to land safely in a field nearby, while the 44-year-old Cessna with the two victims aboard crashed into the slough.

The planes had taken off from Langley Airport earlier Wednesday afternoon.

Langley airport manager George Miller said the pilots had flown formations as a group for about six years and performed a number of fly-pasts at Remembrance Day ceremonies.

All were experienced pilots, he said.

"It's a tragic situation and [people] are taking it very hard," Miller said. "It's a close-knit aviation community. This group was around here all the time. They were known well."

The transportation safety board is investigating.

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